On Tuesday morning, Don Berwick launched a petition to block the deal that would enable Partners to takeover South Shore Hospital and Hallmark Health System. He shared it on this site, and a lot of people signed it.
On Thursday, Steve Grossman decided that he’s now against the Partners deal, too. According to this Globe article, Grossman wrote a letter to Martha Coakley’s office and expressed that he’s “[ … ] deeply concerned that this settlement does not serve the best interests of the people of Massachusetts, [and therefore, is] submitting a public comment opposing the deal in its current form.”
But the deep concern is, indeed, new. As the Globe article goes on to describe:
Grossman’s criticism, however, seems to have evolved over time. In May, Grossman told the Globe: “This deal apparently represents a common-sense solution that will continue to deliver quality care to residents of the South Shore as well as control health care costs for consumers and employers.”
He said Thursday that that support relied on the Health Policy Commission’s endorsement; basically, if the commission thought the deal was good, he did too.
“I think I fundamentally said if the Health Policy Commission said they believe this is a deal they can support, then I see significant elements in it that are worthy of support,” Grossman said in a phone interview. “So I was really couching my own feelings on the deal in the work of the HPC.”
The article also mentions that Coakley yesterday postponed a future hearing about the proposed merger. Grossman took credit for the move. “She may not acknowledge that she was responding to what I said, but I think it was a pretty direct response.”
. . . So, anyway . . . This much is clear: while Berwick lags significantly behind the other gubernatorial candidates in terms of name recognition, HE is the one consistently leading and changing the debate–about this issue, health care, casinos, homelessness, and so many others.